How are we all today guys?

I’m going to talk about Low Back Strain today. Hope this helps.

One of the main causes of back pain, is low back strain.

A series of muscles and ligaments in your back hold the bones of your spinal column in place. You can strain these muscles by stretching them too far, causing tiny tears in the tissue. The muscles are then weakened, so they may not be able to hold the bones in your spinal column in place correctly. The spine becomes less stable, causing low back strain. Because nerves stretch out from the spinal cord throughout the whole body, low back strain can cause pain in other areas other than your back.

Other causes of low back strain can be Extreme Physical Exertion, Falling, Bending or Crouching repeatedly and Heavy Lifting in the Gym with improper form (or too much weight), therefore Squats or Deadlifts are a big culprit for low back injuries.

It could also be caused by Emotional Stress, Improper Posture, being Overweight, out of shape, or Sitting in the same position for long periods of time. Even a Cough can cause low back strain.

You have to keep in mind that low back strain can’t be blamed for all back pain. Other causes could be slipped disc, fractures, pinched nerves, arthritis, infections and tumours.

Symptoms include, Pain and Stiffness in the Back, Pain in the Buttocks and the Legs often in the back of the Thigh, and pain that worsens when Bending, Twisting, Stretching, Coughing or Sneezing.

Treatment for low back strain and to speed up healing and recovery would be 1) Icing you back to reduce pain and swelling as soon as you injure yourself. You can apply for 20 minutes max. every 3-4 hours for 2-3 days. 2) Apply heat to your back, only after the 2-3 days of icing. You could use a heat pad, or hot water bottle and apply for as long as you need to relax the area and speed up healing. 3) Take painkillers or other medication, if recommended by your doctor and 4) Physiotherapy from your trusted, qualified therapist for treatment and strength programme.

Resting in bed doesn’t work. Try to keep as active as possible.

Recovery time depends how serious your lower back strain is. Mild cases may resolve after a couple of days. It can take many weeks for more severe strains Remember that everyone heals at different rates.

Don’t rush to get back to your original level of physical activity, as the low back strain must heal first. You could end up with long-term (chronic) back pain, and permanent injury.

Tips to help you avoid low back pain,
1) If you feel lower back pain during physical activity, STOP.
2) If you feel lower back pain within a day of stepping up your workout, take it easy for a few days.
3) Exercise and stretch your back muscles regularly.
4) Try to avoid sleeping on your stomach. Sleep on your back or on your side, and put pillow under your knees.
5) Make sure you are maintaining a neutral spine and correct your form when you lift either in the gym or lifting a heavy object, and increase your load gradually. If you are unsure of proper form, then ask a qualified Personal Trainer for assistance. Bend at the knees NOT at your waist.
6) Adopt a good posture at all times, even when sitting in a chair. Sit with your back against the chairs back.

If you are suffering from a nagging injury, or want some advice or treatment, feel free to contact me at the Future Bodies gym in Okehampton.

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